Yesterday, the last day of our summer institute, I tried to start envisioning how we should approach the reading list for the summer of 2012 session.
I began by wondering aloud to program director Joycelyn Moody what we should do less of next summer. We had more questions than answers. But Moody was certain about what we should increase, which she summed up in just two words: "More Alondra."
We read a single, short essay by Columbia University professor Alondra Nelson about "afrofuturism," a framework for thinking about intersections of African American culture, technology, and speculative narratives. Alondra also participated with our fellows in a Q & A session on twitter.
Before our session with Alondra, our group was already thinking quite a bit about the possibilities of black studies and technology as we had spent time during the first week with Bryan Carter, professor of English at the University of Central Missouri, who specializes in incorporating a range of new media and technologies into literature classroom contexts.
Bryan had set the tone for our group to merge ideas about technology and black studies on practical levels, and the second week, our readings and discussions of Nelson's work led us to think about and even theorize the links between black studies and technology.